Can thoughts affect water molecules?

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WATER: Can positive thoughts affect water molecules?

IN last week’s column, A dummies guide to quantum physics, I put forward the main theories and ideas of quantum physicists. Of these were the theory that we all collectively play a role in creating reality, that our brains are only able to see what we believe is possible or have experience of, and the idea that thoughts can have real effects on physical reality.

A popular example of the latter was an experiment conducted by Japanese scientist Dr Masaru Emoto who published his findings in a book called Messages from Water. Emoto was studying the effects of music on water molecules. He found that water molecules seemed to take on different shapes depending on the music they were exposed to. This is interesting when we consider the effect of music on plant growth and the effect of Mozart on milk production in cows.

Emoto then began experimenting with the effects that words, prayer, thoughts and blessings might have on water molecules. Again, he claimed that the molecules took on different shapes depending on their labels and affirmations offered (see images). Some of the labels consisted of simple words or statements such as “thank you” and “peace”. Emoto’s published results indicated that water crystal formation was sensitive to these things and concluded that molecules of water “are affected by our thoughts, words, and feelings”. The science that affects water­ molecules in this way is still unknown.

Water molecule formation (thoughts?)

Can thoughts affect water molecules

Emoto’s work has, however, been met with controversy within the scientific community. It was found that he did not publish the entirety of his photographs­. It is also unknown whether or not he ruled out or ignored crystals that did not support his hypothesis. It is sadly something that cannot be soundly verified.

However, Emoto’s experiments still hold interest when we consider that the human body (as well as plants and other animals) are almost entirely made of water. I’m sure we all also know of someone who says they’ve experienced spiritual or alternative healing. We could also consider how we heal faster or get sick less frequently with a positive state of mind, or how subjective pain is. All these secrets may lie in the molecular make-up of water.

What’s more is that water is one of the most complex and unique compounds known to science and chemistry. It may just be a simple combination of hydrogen and oxygen, but the intricacies of water are far more complex. It is not only the most receptive element, but also the only one that can be in all known states (e.g. solid, liquid, gas).

WaterWe can take things a step further and consider how the human brain is mostly water and may then too be subjected to thoughts or emotional conditioning in profound ways. The brain is a vast system of neural networks which communicate with each other electrically and chemically. They respond to stimuli picked up from our environment by our sense organs and proceed to send chemicals from the brain throughout the body. Each cell is covered in receptors which absorb chemical combinations (called peptides) and respond accordingly. It can be said the behaviour of our watery cells change depending on the peptides they receive.

Following this process we all build up models of how we see the world outside of us. These are refined according to the information we have or receive. This is how we each form our own personal world view or ideology. However, any new information we pick up from the environment is always coloured by previous experiences that we’ve had as well as the emotions associated with those experiences. People may think of love very differently, for example, if their associations and experiences of love differ.

However, what quantum physics and biology have shown, is that these neural networks are able to rearrange themselves according to the emotions we feel and experiences we have on a daily basis. If we experience anger and despair often, our neural networks will adapt to provide more of the chemicals that cause these emotions. Similarly, if we manage to control our thoughts and maintain more of a positive outlook on a daily basis, more favourable arrangements will be made. And that is somthing that science does agree with.

30 responses to “Can thoughts affect water molecules?

  1. Wonderful article. I love and follow Dr. Emoto’s work and have created a product related to his research. While it is well noted and criticized that his full research has not been published, I feel that if it worked with the ones that he shows, does it not show at least in those instances that there is something to his theories? I understand that scientists seek the constant in our world to help explain how everything else works. But one thing inevitably leads to another.
    You expressed the workings of the mind and brain so eloquently and I have only to add that I believe that, at least for my belief, the main point I learned from Dr. Emoto’s conclusions, is that the HOW the molecules interact and change with each other is due to the vibrations that the thought and energy manifest. And the water (or liquid) is the conduit that can hold and transfer these vibrations to each other. Isn’t electricity (used in the electrical impulses that allows our body to communicate), at its core, only but a vibration?
    I completely agree that each person’s experience formulates their emotions which then lends to a different and unique vibration. What feelings of “love” are to me are different for anyone else. But there is still a basic frequency for which the word “love” vibrates, as do all words, music, color, thoughts, etc. All things in existence vibrate, and like a snowflake or fingerprint, each are unique. And each external stimuli combines to make and even more unique vibration. The color you wear, the sites you see, the thoughts you have at any given moment, give an every changing vibrational frequency as you move through your day. And from surrounding yourself with the more positive things that are positive to each person, every one of us can use this basic understanding to change the water, the air, our health, control emotion, thoughts and well-being to effect our bodies, mind and those around us.
    I think and hope that this is just the beginning to understanding and helping those discover HOW to control, manifest or create through thought and energy that which each one desires. Think it and it can be… wonderfully simply, its almost unbelievable!

  2. Since writing this article I have since discovered that there might be something sinister afoot here. Firstly, “Dr” Emoto is not a doctor or scientist but rather an author. Visiting his website will reveal that he uses his unreliable research to try and sell products, much like how you have advertised yours here too.

    Like thousands of others, I too was taken with “What the Bleep do we know?” and watched the film about three times over. Then someone directed me to a video debunking the film and I found someone who tested Emoto’s theory for himself and found very different results. The Columbus story is also bullshit, sadly. Someone made the point that throughout human history there have always been many things that we had never seen before but were still able to SEE them.

    People who create films such as What the Bleep and The Secret (both of which have some of the same people in them) are the worst types of human beings. They try to take our side and fight the machine and explain the forces behind our emotions, but then try and sell us a product. I have watched a lot of proper documentaries on quantum physics by real quantum physicists since watching What the Bleep and actually cringe when I look back at this article I wrote and see how I too was suckered in by it.

    Watch this:

  3. really great article here…..
    Positive and nice word will affecting the water structure, i think that’s the reason about the “the power of positive thinking” must equipped with positive word too.


  4. Hmmm…okay, I am sorry that you have become disillusioned by Dr. Emoto’s work by seeing only how it doesn’t work. For me, at least, I see how it does work, as science, while it strives to find constants, it is not a constant and cannot yet find the absolute in any experiment or research conducted. There are ALWAYS results that vary. I find that its these variances that create more question and more research and things are built upon a single idea to reveal more wonders.
    While I certainly can appreciate your opinion, I am left with a feeling of disappointment in your statements. Why is it such a bad thing (“sinister” as you put it) to advertise products that you believe furthers a consciousness that could really help people? Dr. Emoto and I certainly let people know that they can write and attach their own words to their own glasses and still experience the effect of positive words affecting the water. It was a process for me doing it on his suggestion, me getting annoyed at the process, searching to “buy” glassware that already had it, to friends wanting it, to them paying me to do it, to then offering it to others. 90% of my customers already conformed to the idea and were doing it themselves. I just provided them an easier, prettier product. Am I not to be paid for providing that service to others?
    I, and I believe Dr. Emoto does too at some level, want people to see and understand that thought has energy and that your thinking influences your perspective and also physical environment. He wrote books, people bought them, physicists all over the world talk about his work, teach some of his ideas, and people strive to think more positive because of his published photos. The most popular idea I have watched in many youtube videos of physicist seminars that include Dr. Emoto’s work, is that “something” happened to the water. While they are not specifically stating themselves that his work is conclusive, they at least acknowledge that the water was effected. This has furthered more questions, more research, hundreds of layman, like myself, to do our own research, and more thought on the subject to be put in motion. This on its own, I find incredible, to make people ‘think’ and wonder about the possibilities…..that, to me, is evolvement.
    Most seminars I viewed called the effect of the water as being made by a consciousness, an energy force that Dr. Emoto’s work is being used to show how it can been seen in this respect that thought does in fact affect water. Is it so bad that he, or I make money? I also know of many opportunities which he has tried to bring attention to issues that effect people. For example, as it was in my backyard, he traveled to Tampa, FL and gave prayers over the Gulf to help heal the waters after the oil spill. Be it a publicity stunt (which I assume you would automatically first jump to) did he not also bring awareness to the thousands of people that follow his teachings of the Gulf? I have heard of how this effect many people, not buy his book, but more in the way of hope that the Gulf can be healed. Does a person have to be destitute and refuse money or not provide product to people when a good idea is available?
    Don’t you conform to the capitalistic viewpoint of what we do by writing and debunking stereotypes or advertising products on your blog or what you find interest in?
    I believe he absolutely is a scientist both in education and his 15+ years of research. His experiments may not have been completely “scientific” in that they did not adhere to a standard of control studies (I too have read some of the opposing articles and research papers), however, what I have been exposed to and read mostly said that his research was not conclusive. Never did I read that it was completely false either. Mostly, the conclusions were that the research he printed (albeit not the complete millions of photos that revealed no crystallization) could be done in different ways.
    You seem to be more of a right brained, black & white, type of personality. I would call you a realist and that you see what is in front of you that you can experience through the senses you have, touch, feel, taste, hear, and what you take apart and see how it works, maybe thats why your are a techno-junke. Maybe I’m what you might call more of an idealist where I choose to see more than what is physically sensorily (new word?!) available. I tend to focus on the ‘feeling’ of an idea. How it can make me feel better, to build my character. I don’t seek destroy or miss out on something. Something like I would venture to say, when I see a perfect rose that is beautiful my first instint is to smell it, hold it and leave it behind for others to enjoy. To enjoy the look and smell of a thing, not to pick it apart and find its flaws, the dying edges, the burnt leaves, etc. I imagine you would see its thorns and not get near it. Or in a magic act you look for how the magician does his trick, and by doing so you completely miss the magic. What wonders you potentially can miss by seeking out and destroying the illusion. I don’t mind being dupped by the illusion, if it is not harming anyone and I get pleasure and the ability to believe, even for that second, that magic is real. Its a fantasy, I know, but its so much fun to believe, for a little. Life is so harsh, I like to take a break from it for a while, once in a while.
    All that being said, I honor your position and vision as you are also the protector of those of us who do get dupped by those with the intent of only dupping. However, myself with my product and Dr. Emoto with his inspirational writings, I know that it comes with the intent to provide people with an opportunity that speaks to the idealist part of them, those that are struggling with the harshness of themselves or the world and seek some way to make a change. To make it more bareable and soften the sharp edges.
    Thank you for your response. Keep on keeping on, we need your shield and sword to allow us to be safe in our illusions! Another shameless plug…

  5. Hi Kotodama Glassware,

    I understand what you are saying but my opinion on this will not change until convinced otherwise. I am a very open-minded person actually but I do have a problem when people are exploited and convinced to invest in things that aren’t real. Let me clarify.

    It’s perfectly acceptable to create products of something amazing so that people may get the chance to enjoy its wonder. However, if people are lied to, convinced to believe in that lie, and then be convinced to buy something created on a lie, it is sinister in the highest degree.

    A healthier argument would be whether or not this ‘scientific’ process and results thereof are true or not and to provide evidence to support this. From what I have come to understand, this work isn’t, in fact, real. I have found an American scientist who tested the process himself and found that it didn’t work. A background check on Mr Emoto reveals that he is not a scientist, but an author. A visit to his website is not dominated by how this wonderful process works and how it is done, but rather is dominated by products for sale.

    It’s like me learning a few tricks and claiming that I can perform miracles on the street and then charge people for it when I trick them into believing that I have performed real miracles. (see Todd White). You even admit that you “don’t mind being duped by the illusion” if it brings some joy into your life. There’s a fine line to be drawn here.

    I am very interested to hear how such products (blessed water for example) are actually helping people. Can you elaborate on this? I think spreading the message that thought has energy and that your thinking influences your perspective and also physical environment, is a wonderful endeavour, and I applaud that and support it. It’s when people exploit this and take advantage of others when they are in such a state of awe, that I have a problem with.

    But again, if Mr Emoto’s work is in fact real and provable, I stand to be enlightened myself. But until that day, no thank you.

    PS: Could you please post a link to the video you mention on YouTube? I’d love to see it.

  6. PPS: I don’t mind people posting links to their products or websites here. This is a non-profit blog and I leave it up to readers to decide what they want to believe or do. I only encourage that they think critically about such things.

  7. just a thought:
    the very idea that our thoughts impact our reality may be responsible for the varying results of any studies – so called ‘an experimenter effect’
    just imagine different scenarios here: experimenter 1 believes in reality A, conducts experiment and gets an outcome X;
    experimenter 2 believes reality B, conducts experiment and gets and outcome…? (what is your intuition saying here?). Well, for me it follows that it would lead to a different outcome Y.
    Now, science…(i do come of scientific background). Well, science in ‘stable’ world of ‘not animated’ objects, or better said objects nor emitting thoughts (yeh, everything vibrates, etc…, i am just generalizing here, probably making mistake, but anyways, just for a clarity of argument). So, objects will fall, forces can be counted, predictions made, etc… But once we move into life forms, things become more complex and experimental results more dispersed. Perhaps the question to ask is not ‘why the results are different?’ but ‘why the results are similar?’. What has happened is that few ideas got extrapolated to the whole life…We substituted religion with science and science become the ‘opium’ for masses…
    So, what is one supposed to do? Do nothing. Let it all be. Keep living and creating own reality.

  8. It seems that it would be most prudent to agree to disagree. There are skeptics and there are ‘trusting believers’ (for lack of a better phrase). I am the former, and experience has shown me that people will tell you just about anything if they are trying to sell you something. We see this in all forms of advertising every day.

    A common advertising technique is to manufacture or manipulate scientific sounding data. Eg: “This toothpaste makes teeth 90% whiter.” Is this compared to using another brand of toothpaste or to not brushing your teeth at all? “This breakfast cereal makes kids 80% more alert and focused.” Who are these kids and what are we measuring these stats against?

    Then we get products that advertise themselves as scientific but we are unable to test or see their wondrous effects – only BELIEVE in them. If I had a certificate or had published a book or had some kind of back-story to make people believe that I was a Buddhist monk, I could quite easily sell “blessed” rocks to people. But of course my conscious would prevent me from doing so.

    I know I probably come across as a really sad and lonely cynic who can’t seem to fathom the spiritual realm, but this honestly isn’t the case. I am very in touch with nature and my humanness and do generally have faith in fellow people. But you have to agree that there are far too many instances of ‘bad’ or ‘greedy’ people exploiting desperate individuals. Reminds me of a Ukrainian father and son who made people believe they could restore their eyesight by putting them on an expensive course. In the end, they were all still blind and a lot poorer. Or even people who ‘contact the dead’ and capitalize on people’s grief over loved ones who have passed. This is not how we should be treating one another.

    Again I’m not saying that blessed glassware doesn’t have some sort of spiritual property that can bring joy and love into a consumer’s life. This is for people who might be interested to decide. However, I do believe that it is important to really question things like these and make an informed, educated decision before supporting them unquestionably. We need a shared understanding of how such products will genuinely add value to our lives.

  9. Our energy definitely affects the world around us in positive or negative ways. Since everything in existence is made up of energy, we are ALL affected by the energies of those around us. This has nothing at all to do with religion or spirituality, but is proven scientific fact. I remember seeing this about a decade ago and for some reason it was on my mind today so I looked it up. For those who have never heard of this, I encourage you to check it out. So, knowing how energy can affect water, and our bodies being made up of water over any other element, does this change how much negative energy you will accept from other people?

  10. Thank you kindly for your comment Gina. I certainly believe that we affect one another in terms of positive or negative ‘energies’ and I think it’s an important thing to think about. We all experience ‘good’ or ‘bad’ vibes when we’re in different situations, often with lots of other people around. We can also often tell if someone is giving off a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ vibe in conversation.

    The fact that we are carbon-based life forms largely made up of water (our brains alone are 80% water) it seems plausible that ‘thoughts’ can affect water molecules. I do however believe that it’s important to consider that our moods are dependent on chemical reactions – reactions that require water in order to interact and function.

    It is therefore perhaps necessary to consider all this (as well as our watery selves) as a whole rather than isolate water as a single element that is affected by thoughts. Without it, we probably wouldn’t have any thoughts to start with! But there are so many other magical chemicals at work…

  11. Oh for Christ sake, Einstein straightened this out 50 years ago people…not new….

  12. I can’t see why Science has such a hard time accepting thoughts are both the effects of the physical and beyond. Yes chemical reactions cause emotions. Music is made up of vibrations, but one could say you are not listing to music but strings, brass and wood beating and blown a certain precise way at certain precise times in a variety of speeds and tempos. Does that really take away the unity of sound music makes or how it effects us on a deep level? Just because there are physical mechanics evolved does not meant it’s not beyond that. Thoughts are both physical and non-physical to our perception yet we know (most of us anyway) that it’s all energy with cause and effect. So it really should not be a shock nor a far fetch idea to hypothesis that thoughts effect water and really anything.
    As for Emoto I like him and he is just one person out of many who have an idea. I do not like him calling himself a Dr. and understand he is not a “legit” scientific by stander. He does however bring an interesting idea by selling his books and other merch. Everyone in some way is selling something weather it’s asking for money to join a membership to a program for a certain study or cause or producing products to sell. All ask for money and all are in one form or another are being challenged by someone. If a person feels cheated that’s there own fault. Physiologically speaking, the seller does not really make a sale, you do? You can have all the information true or false but at the end you have the choice to take the risk on the investment. It’s much like an experiment-it will work out or it will fail. That is with any investment.
    Anyway I think people exhaust themselves with finding out the absolute truth. When asking, “Is this information true?” we tend to create a dual reality of back and white with very little grey. We are just one species of many on a small planet (so far the only one with life) orbiting one star of billions to trillions in a cluster that creates a galaxy surrounded by for what we know trillions of more galaxies, and we have the ignorance to claim we know absolute truth even on a scientific level…our perception of truth and reality is very small. So instead of asking such a limiting question might I suggest saying,”How can I use this information to enhance my life and the lives of others?” If you look throughout our history, we had many great ideas from many great and not so great people. Some, like relativity as an example, were not fully correct nor incorrect but it allowed us to move forward to now where we are making new discoveries, such as the Higgs boson, that questions Eisenstein’s theory.
    In short, who knows what truth is and who knows what’s good or bad? As long as we can benefit individually and collectively, it can only keep us moving forward ^_^

    P.S. I have not spent a single penny on the man (I use libraries and internet) and find his idea at least most interesting and should be taken to a new level if not a new direction. He is a scientist in the simplest definition and a do like that he inspires others. If you think about it public publicity seems to be the most effective way to gain attention and people do tend value information more when they pay for it. We seem to need some sort of external device or gimmick to trigger our potential for some reason. I find this most disturbing on both Emoto and the public’s part. We are so dependent on the material system that people have to stretch the truth, omit part of it or just flat out lie in order to give a wide message. I have respect for Emoto’s interest and research but not his method of spreading it. But hey, why should I judge, I’ll just continue to take what he says with a grain of salt like any other (yes even Eisenstein) after all one should not fallow blindly by faith nor be blinded by skepticism.

  13. I suppose what we can all do is simply wait until similar ‘research’ or ‘findings’ are covered by channels such as BBC Horizon. At least then we’ll know whether or not this gets taken seriously by the scientific community. Until then, I think it’s wise to remain skeptical…

  14. Hi! There is no doubt that our thoughts effect our physical body and our short term and long term health. I hope that is not the question here. I recently read the book The Power, and this very claim was asserted in the book; Thoughts change the molecular make up of the water in our bodies. I instantly raised an eyebrow, as this sounded a bit “hokie” to me. I find for myself that I am generally interested in all possibilities and when I research something my motivation is not to be “right” or to “prove” someone else is “wrong” but in the best spirit of the search and discovery for the true potentiality of all things. As Sherlock Holmes stated, “Something unknown wants to be known.” What kind of life would it be if all I focused on was disproving or dismantling theories that that were creating value in others lives? Having said all of the above, I believe it is prudent to consider all possibilities in such matters. It was said that science is only as accurate as the technology by which we measure with.

  15. Hi Dan, thank you for your intelligent comment! I’m certainly of the belief that our minds have the power to affect our bodies. “Mind over Matter” for example. It would make sense to transpose this belief to water as our bodies (our brains especially) are mostly made of water.

    However, the skeptic (perhaps cynic) in me does not take it as fact that we are currently able to manipulate water externally – by ‘blessing’ or ‘thanking’ water, for example. If this were true (and backed by evidence) there is no doubt that this would be extensively researched and mediated by the scientific community. Surely?

    I recently watched a related documentary about water which suggested that our plumbing system has a negative effect on water due to sharp turns in the piping. Something like that raises my eyebrow…

  16. i am doing a science fair project on that

  17. Please do let us know how it goes!

  18. Do the study yourself like i did with a microscope. It works!

  19. Hey Stack, I’d be interested to know how you went about conducting this study. Did you bless the water yourself?

  20. picture this in your mind–brain, there are only two states 1st state left thum up and right thum one down….the 2nd state left thum down and right thum up which state are you? 1st state or 2nd state? For me thinking about this is what makes life intetresting..I know I am not using the mass of my entire brain-mind,,,not even close…the enviorment I live hinders my progress…there is more to my puzzle of life and threw the eyes of someone else, I may be at a lower levelof the convery belt of life….who chooses my out come…my brain—mind out come is from an experiment…do I arch hand in hand with a double life?? one which is in a better life and I am in the lower level of life?? ages and ages and my geno ask for more than I today have

  21. Did anyone else get that?

  22. Brain, Mind and Consciousness:

    Watch the 1st five minutes of that

  23. To Galen:

    I’m not sure what to think either. As stated, Dr. Emoto is not a doctor. That does not mean his results are invalid, or that “the opposite of what he’s stating is true”… but it’s hard to accept one study at face value.

    If the “replication” of the experiment is the same one I’m thinking of, it was by Dr. Dean Radin. His results were… not statistically significant in some groups, and only barely above 0.05 p value in others. So, if it is a real effect, it appears to be dependent on more factors that are more significant than just “music”. I’m still undecided on what to think

    To (almost) everyone else:

    You make Youtube commentators appear smart. I’m not sure what sort of “new age” hole you lot slithered out of, but if it’s so obvious that this is a real effect, then why are the results barely conclusive, -at best-? I’ve read a number of people jumping to “explain” how this effect might possibly occur, using different levels of bad logic, as “proof” that the original study is valid.

    If you don’t see the problem with this, then you should really keep your thoughts to yourself about scientific articles… even sketchy ones.

  24. Thanks Vinncent. Very well put

  25. Hi Galen

    I would like your help on something

    Powerful, good affirmations or classical music is able to help stimulate the brain. The cells in our bodies send a positive frequency or vibration to our brains. As you have mentioned our brains mostly consists out of water. The molecular form of water would change either positively or negatively when a certain thought or picture is send to it. Is it possible that the change of the structure is able to effect the works of the brain in any way possible?

    I am doing a project for school about water crystals and I would like to extend me knowledge and research.

  26. Hi Curiosity,

    Yes music stimulates the brain but the “cells in our bodies send a positive frequency or vibration to our brains” is not quite right.

    sound waves are converted to electrical impulses which are then interpreted by the brain. Our brains are mostly water because it is the perfect medium for sending and receiving electrical stimuli.

    “Is it possible that the change of the structure is able to effect the works of the brain in any way possible?” – I don’t quite know what you are asking here?

  27. Thank you for the information Galen.

    I was able to complete half of my project with the information you gave me.
    Sorry about some of those silly questions, I’m only in my first year of high school and I am still processing some of the things we learnt in class.

    Thanks again 🙂

  28. Hi Curiosity, you’re most welcome. It is an interesting area of study 🙂

    All the best!

  29. Pingback: No Crying in the Breast Milk - Dad for Beginners

  30. Hello everybody. This topic is very interesting, but I did notice a glaring error… This part right here: “It (water) is not only the most receptive element, but also the only one that can be in all known states (e.g. solid, liquid, gas). First of all, water is not an element! And second, what do you mean water’s the only compound that can exist in three different states? That’s absolutely ridiculous. Carbon dioxide is just one example.

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